Tuesday, July 28, 2009

'Bomb threat' on flight

A Singapore-bound SilkAir flight was held and the aircraft towed to an isolated area at Cebu airport in the Philippines on Tuesday amid a bomb threat. --ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

MANILA - A SINGAPORE-BOUND SilkAir flight was held for five hours at Cebu airport in the Philippines on Tuesday after a bomb threat, but police later cleared the aircraft for take-off, officials said.

'The Airbus 320 was taken to an isolated area for inspection,' Cebu airport control tower operator Arlene Albano told AFP by telephone after the security alert was issued shortly before the scheduled 1.30pm (Singapore time) departure of the flight.

She said the tower was not informed about the reason for the action, but SilkAir said Cebu airport authorities alerted it 'regarding a bomb threat they had received pertaining to SilkAir's flight, MI 541.'

Ms Albano said the aircraft was towed back to the ramp area four hours later, and SilkAir said the flight, with 127 passengers and five crew members on board, left at around 6.30 pm (1030 GMT).

'SilkAir has been informed by the local police in Cebu that our aircraft has been cleared of any security threats following extensive security checks by the police,' said an airline statement issued in Singapore.

'As an additional security measure, passengers and their baggage were screened again before boarding,' it added. -- AFP

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